[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Tina Dupuy has an excellent piece in The Atlantic examining how this Republican Congress is on pace to set a modern record for non-accomplishment -- while expending endless energy passing bills that have no chance of passing the Senate:
One quarter into the 112th Congress's two-year term, only 14 pieces of legislation originating in the House have become laws (12 bills and two house joint resolutions). Fourteen. Compare that with the House in the 111th, which claimed 254 laws (plus 11 house joint resolutions) over two years. The 110th had 308 (plus 10 house joint resolutions). Even the often-derided do-nothing 109th Congress's House controlled by the GOP passed 316 (with 16 house joint resolutions).Dupuy compiled a list of the many bills that have passed the House with no chance of passage in the Senate, including the health-care repealers, defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR, ending the oil-drilling moratorium in the Gulf, and gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If the current House continues with this trend it will have produced a mere 48 laws by the end of the chamber's full term.
Quick math: The last three Houses have by this time in their tenure produced an average of 76 laws each.
But when House Republicans are actually in session, it's not exactly like they're doing nothing. They've made a point of passing bills that "send a message." Over and over, they've brought legislation to the floor that was doomed to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Why? To put taxpayer money where Republican congresspersons' mouths (and votes) are. Yes, the House Republicans of 112th Congress are having a love affair with the symbolic vote.
Of course, these are the same people demanding that President Obama devise a debt-ceiling plan ... even though that's a responsibility clearly in Congress' hands.